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spacer.gif (807 bytes) Dynamic Drive DHTML Newsletter!
September 1st, 1999 Issue #10
Dynamic Drive URL: http://dynamicdrive.com

Welcome to the Dynamicdrive.com DHTML newsletter, the DHTML newsletter that keeps you informed on the latest updates to Dynamicdrive.com, and news, tips, and tutorials on the DHTML technology!

------------------Newsletter begins here-----------

1) New DHTML scripts added to Dynamic Drive
2) DHTML Book Review: Dynamic HTML, The Definitive Guide
(Publisher: O'Reilly)

3) Fun with HTML 4.0- The <button> tag
4) Dynamic Drive Link-Back Sweepstakes- one last chance to win!
5) A little of this, a little of that


1) New DHTML scripts added to Dynamic Drive

-Animated Ants! [All] (http://dynamicdrive.com/dynamicindex4/ant/index.htm)

Prepare your visitors for the ant rush, with this fun, animated DHTML script. These crazy ants will follow the mouse cursor wherever it goes...there's no escaping! Thanks to Mike Hall for this great DHTML creation and contribution.

-Find In Page Script [All] (http://dynamicdrive.com/dynamicindex11/findpage.htm)

Again from the mind of Mike, this cross browser DHTML script simulates the Edit> Find In Page feature of the browser to allow your visitors to easily search for a particular text on your page. As in the "Find In Page" feature, it highlights the searched text if found, otherwise, prompts a "Not Found" message.

-Back-Home button [All] (http://dynamicdrive.com/dynamicindex5/ns4home.htm)

This time, it's not from Mike (it's from us!). The Back-Home button script renders a button that takes the user back to the browser's DEFAULT homepage when clicked on. Not exactly practical, but definitely fun to have on your webpage. On a parallel note, one of the greatest things about the internet is how it enables people from all corners of the world to collectively tackle and solve a problem. When we first created and posted the Back-Home button script a few days ago, it only worked in NS 4+ (by using the window.home() method). Shortly after putting it up, Agustin Louro (a Dynamic Drive surfer) emailed us with a technique on how to get the script to work cross-browser. And work it did. Check out the script, check out the technique!

2) DHTML Book Review: Dynamic HTML, The Definitive Reference (Publisher: O'Reilly)

We'd like to welcome you to the latest section in the Dynamic Drive newsletter- DHTML Book Reviews. Starting from this issue, we'll be looking into and critiquing some of the more well-known DHTML books currently out on the market, so you don't go blowing away money on DHTML books that don't fit your needs (or just plain old suck). First to take the hot seat- O'Reilly's immensely popular "Dynamic DHTML, The Definitive Guide."

We received this book from O'Reilly Publishing about a month ago, and was eager to dive into it. After all, "Dynamic HTML, The Definitive Reference" has been Amazon.com's best selling DHTML book since it's inception, and there's no sign of it falling to second place in the foreseeable future. I'm sure anyone who's currently thinking about purchasing a DHTML book has at least considered this one at some level. So, is the book really as good as it's popularity may cause people to perceive it as? More importantly, is it for YOU? Here's our comprehensive review on it, after a month of devourment.

"Dynamic HTML, The Definitive Reference", is one thick book. At close to 1000 pages, it's heavy too. The book is divided into five sections, encompassing "all" of the components of the DHTML technology:

-Applying Dynamic HTML
-HTML Reference
-DOM Reference
-CSS Reference
-JavaScript Reference

The only "tutorial" portion of this book, surprisingly, is the first section (Applying Dynamic HTML), which spans about 170 pages. The remainder four are comprehensive references on the four technologies (HTML, DOM, CSS, JavaScript) that collectively enable and power DHTML. Apparently, the idea here is that you learn how to implement DHTML in the first section, and use the remainder of the book as a gigantic cheat sheet on the exact syntax to accomplishing this. Good idea? It really depends.

If you're someone who already knows JavaScript and is familiar with at least some DHTML, "Dynamic HTML, The Definitive Guide" will save you countless hours trying to piece together this knowledge to formally cross over to DHTML. It doesn't dabble, clearly explains what it set out to explain, and doesn't waste time discussing things the average JavaScript programmer already knows. Why this book shines, for some, however, is also why it'll leave others in the dark. "Dynamic HTML, The Definitive Reference" is really more of an Encyclopedia on DHTML, rather than a guide (there is a difference, you know:o)). If you're looking to make the transition from HTML directly to DHTML, this book will most likely transit you back to your local bookstore to get a refund instead. It does NOT guide you, from the ground up, how to implement DHTML, but rather, provides you with a supped up "dictionary" on the technology, so you can easily look up how to implement a particular DHTML property, method, or feature.

In short, if you're an intermediate to advanced JavaScript programmer wishing to pursue DHTML, go get this book. Otherwise, we suggest you pass on it- for now.

Visit http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/dhtmlref for complete technical specs on the book.

3) Fun with HTML 4.0- The <button> tag

Some people predict the eventual downfall- and even extinction- of HTML in the not-so-distant future, as a slew of new replacement technologies such as XML and XHTML begins to emerge. One look at a XML book, and you know these people are probably also the ones telling the prediction about Aliens paying earthlings a visit in the year 2000 and revealing to us the secrets of the universe. Both are highly unlikely (the former even more so than the later).

Now that we've straightened that out, let's explore and learn about a fun new tag of HTML 4, the <button> tag. This is a powerful new element that enables rich HTML contents to be displayed as a button. Note that at the moment, this tag in only supported by IE 4 and above (NS Gecko will supposedly follow suit when it's released at the end of the year). Think of the <button> tag as the familiar <input type="button"> element on steroids. With it, you can embed fancy text, images, and other rich HTML stuff as part of the button. Take a look at the following example:

Click <i>here!</i>

The above will render a form-like button, except the button contains formatted text! Here's another example that really brings the message home:

<img src="http://dynamicdrive.com/dynamic.gif">

A form button with an image inside of it? Don't try that with the regular <input type="button"> tag!

The <button> tag supports all of the events/ attributes of the regular form button. You could make it go to a particular URL upon clicking:

<button onClick="window.location='http://dynamicdrive.com'">
<big>Dynamic Drive</big>

act as a regular submit button:

<button type="submit">

and basically anything else it's ugly cousin can do.

Remember, this colorful tag, as neat as it is, is currently supported only by IE 4+. We just thought we'd tell you about it now, so when Netscape begins embracing it (hopefully at the end of this year), you can start pressing it's buttons immediately!

4) Dynamic Drive Link-Back Sweepstakes- one last chance to win!

The Dynamic Drive Link-Back Sweepstakes is drawing to an end. This week, we will randomly choose the last winner for a retail copy of Allaire's Homesite 4.0. Don't miss out on this final chance to win what some are calling "the absolute best HTML editor ever made." To enter, simply add a link back to Dynamic Drive on your site, and fill out the entry form. It's that easy! Visit http://dynamicdrive.com/winlink.htm for complete sweepstakes details...

5) A little of this, a little of that

-Dynamic Drive is now searchable! Can't find that particular script you saw two weeks ago on our site? Point your browser to our internal search engine, at http://dynamicdrive.com/search.htm, and fret no more!

-If you're the publisher or author of a DHTML book or software, we may be interested in reviewing it, to appear in a future issue of the Dynamic Drive newsletter (one of the largest DHTML newsletter in circulation). Please contact us at dynamicdrive@yahoo.com with your proposal.

-Got JavaScript? Swing by http://wsabstract.com for the best stuff JavaScript.

This concludes the 10th edition of the Dynamic Drive DHTML newsletter.

Recommend Us!
-If you like Dynamic Drive, please recommend us to a friend...

All- Script works with Netscape 4 AND Internet Explorer 4+
NS- Indicates script works with Netscape 4 (NOT NS 6 yet)
IE- Indicates script works with Internet Explorer 4 and above
NS6!- Temporary index set up on script category pages to indicate script works in NS6

Copyright 1998-2004 Dynamic Drive. Please read Terms Of Use here before using any of the scripts.
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